BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZB Financial Holdings Limited (ZBFHL) has signed a money transfer agreement with an American firm called Ria to enable Zimbabwean citizens staying in the diaspora to send money back home.
Ria Money Transfer is one of the largest international money transfer companies in the world.
Speaking during the ZB Bank media luncheon in Bulawayo on Friday, ZBFHL chief executive Ron Mutandagayi said the agreement would help boost diaspora remittances into the country.
“ZB Financial Holdings Limited has introduced a number of new products. The first one, we have signed a money transfer agreement with an American firm called Ria. This is the first time any local financial institution has had a direct relationship with an American money transfer business,” Mutandagayi said.
“We are excited about that because it means that our diaspora in America will then have a direct route for remitting funds to Zimbabwe. What has happened so far is we have engaged. They naturally have conducted a due diligence on us. There are certain standards we need to meet in terms of what we call anti-money laundering. They are happy with our standards, so we have signed an agreement where now people can start transferring money,” he said.
Mutandagayi said transactions should be able to start soon and they were currently on an awareness drive in America to let Zimbabweans who are in the US know that there is Ria which can transfer money back home.
“At the moment I don’t have figures to what has happened, how much has been transferred as I said we are on an awareness drive, but our systems are ready. It’s an online-based system and we think it will increase diaspora remittances,” he said.
“We are doing same business with WorldRemit, Mukuru.com, MoneyGram, so it just adds to the options available. Generally, most money transfer agencies you find are either in Europe or United Kingdom. This one is in America; it’s an American company which is now focusing on transferring money into Zimbabwe.”
The bank has also launched a number of products in the market such as WhatsApp banking which allows customers to conduct business using WhatsApp.